Quick & Easy Holiday Hospitality


This is our favorite time of year to entertain. Our houses are probably the cleanest they’ve been all year, and we are eager to show off our tree and other holiday adornments. We’ve got stacks of baked goods and scads of aromatic candles. The problem?

We, along with everyone around us, are overscheduled. If we’re not supposed to be at a party, there’s a church or school program, or we’ve got to shop or wrap gifts or bake twelve dozen cookies or clean the guest room for Great-Aunt Elmira’s white glove test.

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So, maybe there’s not time for a full-on catered, fancy-dress holiday party. Maybe you’ve spent all your cash on gifts. No worries; there are still a plethora of ways to celebrate socially. Some of these also combine celebration with finishing those holiday to-do lists.

Gift or Decoration Crafting Party

This is a great idea early in December. Get your crafty friends together and have everyone bring supplies and show folks how to craft some simple gifts or decorations. You could even make some of ours that we’ll be posting this coming week.

Cookie Decorating Party

This can be a fun one for adults and kids alike. Prebake sugar cookies and set out decorations, frosting, piping bags, tips, and paint brushes. It’s not a bad idea to put out a vinyl tablecloth or roll out some kraft or butcher paper across the table. Sprinkles and food coloring are messy! You can assign people to bring certain decorations or simply tell people to bring containers or baggies. You can also corral the kids to do this while the adults supervise from a safe distance, lattes in hand.

Wrapping Party

Have lots of flat surfaces? Get everyone together with all their giftwrap and ribbon odds and ends and get gifts prettied up. Are you a great wrapper? Maybe one of your friends is good at ribbons.
Be sure to have plenty of gift tags so unintended swaps don’t occur. We don’t want Uncle Joe unwrapping your significant other’s new sleep apparel. Also, remember to keep at home gifts that would be intended for any party attendees as not to spoil surprises.

Pampering Party

Have some ladies over to do manicures and pedicures and have an adult beverage or coffee. This will be nice downtime and save some coin on beauty treatments.

Bowl Party

It’s nearing bowltime; this is a great time to get the guys together for a game.

Intermediate Gathering

Many people are off work between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Schedule a gathering during the week. Have folks bring excess baked goods, hors d’oeuvres and wine. Even better -- schedule a party a week after everyone goes back to work. Post-holiday time can be a big downer as the decor comes down and the social calendar dwindles. Give yourself -- and others -- something to look forward to.

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